Diocese of Achonry
Permanent Diaconate Character Reference Form
Diocese of Achonry
Reference Form for Applicants for the Permanent Diaconate
Notes for Referees:
As part of our selection procedures for applicants for the Catholic
permanent diaconate, we need references from a number of people who know
the applicant well. Your name has been given to us by the applicant as a referee
and we welcome your help in writing as full and frank a reference as you can.
What you write will, of course, be treated in confidence; however, please
note that an applicant may request to see what has been written about him.
We realise that you may not have personal knowledge of all of the
aspects we mention, but we will be approaching other referees to help us build
up as full a picture as possible. We are also aware that, in the case of younger
applicants, it is often a case of assessing potential, rather than fully developed
and proven qualities. The following notes about the life of a permanent deacon
might help you to comment appropriately.
The permanent diaconate in the Catholic Church is a life-long
commitment and usually requires three years of part-time formation. Once
ordained, the permanent deacon will work in his home parish or deanery or in
another area of ministry as his diocesan bishop sees fit. This will require
flexibility on the part of the permanent deacon.
The permanent diaconate needs people of a firm yet developing faith that is
practised in everyday matters as well as in regular prayer and worship.
Applicants should know what their faith means to them and should be able to
share it with others, including those with very different views. Firmness of faith
however, does not mean rigidity; nor does it mean never questioning or
examining one's faith. Applicants should live out their religious beliefs in their
daily lives and should hold values that reflect the faith they profess.
2. Care of others
Much diaconal work is concerned with the pastoral care of individuals in
personal distress or difficulty. This requires a degree of sensitivity and care, as
well as the ability to listen and to keep a sense of proportion. In this and other
areas, it is important that the deacon has a good sense of judgement and is able